SYDNEY, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- Fuel-efficient hybrid EcoBuses will be trialled in Sydney in an effort to reduce carbon footprint from 2011, Australian Associated Press reported on Thursday.
Two Australian companies - Bus and Coach International Pty Ltd (BCI) and Custom Coaches - will share a 1 million Australian dollar (900,000 U.S. dollar) tender awarded by the New South Wales (NSW) government to build and trial the buses.
Each company will use different type of hybrid technology for single prototype, which will be compared over a 12-month trial period starting in early 2011.
The state is catching up to similar trials already undertaken by governments in Victoria and Queensland since July last year.
NSW Minister for Transport John Robertson noted such developments are important in Sydney because buses alone operate more than 15,000 services every working day.
"We know that hybrid technology has the potential to reduce our state's carbon footprint and improve air quality," Robertson said in a statement.
"If the trial proves that EcoBuses are economically viable and feasible, they could become a part of Sydney's permanent bus fleet. "
The trial follows the NSW government's 250 million Australian dollars (224 million U.S. dollars) commitment to replace older buses with more fuel-efficient ones.
The five-year program, which began in 2006, will replace 505 STA buses with either low-emission diesel or compressed natural gas.